HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 20 AUGUST 2021

It has been great to welcome back all of our S2-S6 pupils and our new S1s and get that real buzz back in the school. All of our young people look so smart in their school uniform and with that gives a real sense of ‘community’ and proudness of being a Knox Academy pupil.  Having visited classes this week it is heart-warming to see highly motivated pupils who are engaging very well in their learning and keen to achieve their best from day one.  Pupils are always very tired after their first week at school so in some ways it had been good it is short week for them. It always takes a few weeks for them to adjust to the early mornings, long days and having to learn in up to seven different subjects a day. However they soon get back in to the routine of this and cope amazingly well!  It is also great that we have been able to come back fulltime this session as along with being in classes, they are able to see their friends at school and have that socialisation back in their lives that they missed so much over the last eighteen months. Our study sessions and extra-curricular clubs will also be starting soon so please encourage your young people to join these to learn new skills and meet new friends across year groups.

Three letters were sent home to parents/carers recently but just in case you did not receive these for any reason they are: Return to Knox Academy 18 August 2021 (detailing health and safety protocols); East Lothian Council’s welcome back letter to parents/carers and Covid-19 LFD testing.

Our main method of communication is email, so if you have not provided us with your email address please do so by emailing admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk detailing your name, address and the names of your young person and their year group. This will ensure you do not miss out on any mailshots or important information.  Thank you.

SQA Results 2021

Well done to all of our senior school pupils in their SQA results, in what was a very challenging year. As you can see from the data below, Knox Academy’s results compared admirably against the National SQA results, and were notably higher at N5 and H levels.

A-C attainment rate for N5 - 91.5% (national attainment rate – 85.8%)

A-C attainment at Higher - 90.7% (national – 87.3%)

A-C at Advanced Higher – 89.5% (national 90.2%)

Our new S4 should continue to work hard to ensure they build upon this year’s S4 results and they achieve their potential. The results achieved by our S4 and S5 pupils are a great foundation to build upon for their Highers and Highers/Advanced Highers this session. Our AH results, although marginally lower than the National picture, still show a very strong performance from our S6 pupils – many who are now about to embark on courses at University or College.

Faculties have a review of their SQA attainment data in June and have now taken account of their areas of strength and areas for development within this data and implementing any changes which have an impact on our courses, the teaching of them and our young people’s attainment. Please have a look at our School Improvement Plan which has a focus on teaching for excellence, raising attainment and inclusion.

SQA Update – Important Information for S4/S5/S6 parents, carers and pupils

On Wednesday 18 August SQA set out the key detail on plans for assessment of National Qualifications in 2021-22. This follows confirmation from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills that exams will be held for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. 

The Cabinet Secretary has informed parliament that, 'The central planning assumption is that an examination diet for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be held in session 2021-2022. This decision has been informed by the views of stakeholders, including the National Qualifications Group, and by public health advice.’

SQA exams will take place from 26 April to 1 June 2022 with results day on 9 August 2022.  

Awards Ceremony – Date for your diary

Due to Covid-19 restrictions our awards ceremony will be a virtual ceremony this year and will be shown on the evening of Thursday 30 September.  All young people who have achieved an award in last year’s S1-S6 will receive a letter home in the next week or so.  Filming for the awards will take place in our Assembly Hall over the coming weeks and we aim to have House Group winners together (S1-S3 and S4-S6) to do the filming and so we can celebrate their successes together, albeit in smaller groups.

Music Instruction

Following the announcement that the Scottish Government will provide councils with funding to cover instrumental music tuition during the forthcoming academic year, we can now confirm that we will remove the parental contribution to fees for the 21/22 school session. This will mean that there will be no cost to parents/carers for instrumental music tuition during the next school session, 21/22.

Extra-curricular Activities (Active Schools)

You can sign your young person up for active school classes here. You will find a range of outdoor and indoor activities. We look forward to seeing our pupils getting involved in our clubs and getting active.

Please note: The start dates for indoor classes are not until after the 1st September due to guidelines. If anyone has any issues signing up to classes please get in contact with Thomas Salkeld at tsalkeld@elcschool.org.uk

NHS Scotland

NHS Scotland recommends all school age children receive their flu vaccine this year. This is for three reasons;

1 Flu can be serious, even for healthy children.

2 To reduce the risk of children spreading flu to family and friends.

3 To help prevent the flu virus putting extra strain on our NHS Services this winter.

The vaccine is given at school as a painless nasal (nose) spray by the local NHS Vaccination team on Tuesday 22nd of September. Strict infection measures will remain in place during the vaccination process. The vaccine will be offered to all pupils who wish to receive it, teachers and support school staff as well.

Further information can be found on www.nhsinform.scot/child flu for parents and carers to access. In addition to this, an information leaflet aimed at secondary school pupils is available. 

Pupil Updates

Ross Blackford (S4) has been chosen by Chess Scotland to participate in an international online chess tournament this week for under 16s.  Ross is enjoying the challenge of playing lots of talented players. We wish him well in all his games.

Dates for you diary (please also see the School Calendar for overview and updates):

Tuesday 7 September - Parent Council Meeting (online)   6.30-8pm

If you wish to join our Parent Council Meeting it would be great to have you along (especially our new S1 parents/carers).  To join, please email our Chair of the Parent Council: parentcouncil@ka-net.org.uk

Enjoy the weekend

Sue Cook

Please also remember to follow us at: www.ka-net.org.uk for the latest information and updates